The ruling came as a result of a complaint filed by a bureaucrat working for the Department of Transport. Sarah Baskerville argued that the Daily Mail newspaper had no right to quote her tweets in an article, because she had posted a disclaimer to her Twitter page indicating that the material found therein constituted her private thoughts - unendorsed by the Department of Transport - and were not for public use.
In its ruling, the PCC argued that Baskerville could not reasonably expect that comments posted to a major social media website would necessarily remain private, as these can be forwarded or re-tweeted by any of her 700 followers.
In fact, one of the elements of social networking is the ability to share snippets of information among friends and direct them for interesting reading.
In its defence, the Daily Mail noted that Baskerville's tweets were unrestricted and thus available to people beyond simply her 700 followers.
Stephen Abell, the PCC's director, suggested that this was a landmark ruling as it opens the way for major national newspapers to turn to Social Media websites for source material.